This is the fourth of seven posts on AchieveGlobal's international study of leadership today, "Developing the 21st-Century Leader." Be sure to read the complete report.
There's nothing like a long look in the mirror to motivate needed change. Gazing thoughtfully at your reflection can reveal positives to build on and negatives to improve or eradicate.
The same goes for business leaders: Those who often reflect on their own strengths and liabilities are far more likely to transform unproductive behaviors into behaviors that make them stronger and more effective.
Our recent research into how leaders can succeed in the 21st century uncovered six zones or groups of best practices: Reflection, Society, Diversity, Ingenuity, People, and Business. Of them, Reflection is perhaps the most central.
To leverage strengths and remove the blind spots that lead to poor decisions, reflective leaders habitually assess their own motives, beliefs, attitudes, and actions.
If "the more you look, the more you see," as the adage goes, it should be no surprise that reflective leaders tend to succeed in other zones, as well. Why this spillover effect for the zone of Reflection?
It's quite simple.
The practices grouped under Reflection help leaders assess their performance in other zones. Because reflective leaders see their place in the big picture, they tend to "take responsibility for their own mistakes" (the highest-rated practice in our global survey). In this way, reflection helps them clarify what makes them strong and where they can improve in every zone.